Best Books I Read In: February (and you should too!)

Best Books list for February! I read a lot this month, but didn’t find as many gems.

thicker than water coverThis was a ’16 debut I was highly anticipating, and I’m pleased to say it floored me. The writing was beautiful and dealt with so many things like grief and guilt and denial. Plus complicated family and sibling relationships that leapt off the page. I’m always impressed with non-linear stories that pull it off, just like this book did. We jump back and forth between Cecelia becoming a dealer and her dealing days to the present where she’s in the midst of a trial for her brother’s death and in treatment. A wonderful, well-executed novel for sure!

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

 

 

 

symptoms coverI did not expect to love this book as much as I did. I was a little iffy on the voice for the first few chapters because there were some awkward sentences and cliche phrases, but thankfully that didn’t become an issue. Riley’s voice was beautiful, rich, and humorous. I was also concerned this would become a preachy book on the woes of social media, but it wasn’t that, either. Instead this was a complexly drawn (is that a thing?) novel about identity, and I adored it. Riley is gender-fluid, an orientation I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know a lot about. Riley deals with bullying, anxiety, family drama, and a growing internet presence Riley’s not sure how to handle. And through it all this novel never feels dark or like an “issue” book, as they are sometimes called. It’s just a really well told story that touches on timely subjects.

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

Have you read either of these books? What did you think? What are your favorite recent reads?

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Best Books I Read in: January (and You Should Too)!

Sorry I left you guys waiting for this month’s list a couple extra days longer. I got distracted with snow and school and watching The Royals.

So in January I read a whooping 16 books! That must be an all-time best. I wanted to read as much as I could before the semester started–though I still read a fair amount the last two weeks of January, balanced with school work. Let’s get started!

love actually dancing

Short version here!
-WOLF BY WOLF by Ryan Graudin [asfghjkl masterpiece]
-MAP OF FATES by Maggie Hall [swoon]
-KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky [this book is effed up]
-EVERY LAST WORD by Tamara Ireland Stone [cute! poetry! yay!]
-THE ANATOMY OF CURIOSITY by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton [yessssss]

Longer/cooler version here!

wolf by wolf

OH MY GOD THIS BOOK. I love it SO much. I read it in a day because I just could not stop. I don’t think I’ve ever really read an alternate history book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was also wary of the subject matter since we’ve had a crop of Nazi Romance Book scandals in the last several months + last semester I took a class on Genocide, so the material was close to my heart. But this. book. was. incredible. Yael is such an amazing MC–she’s been through so much shit, but she still has so much heart, and it’s beautiful. The plot is nonstop and the writing broke me. Like, I had so many feels, it was disgusting [evidence below].

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

map of fates cover.

The Conspiracy of Us was one of my favorite books of last year. I loved the characters and was totally hooked. I was so excited to win an ARC so I could read it and sate my fangirlsh needs! But who was I kidding, this book just made me need book 3! Again, spot on characters, humor, and sass. And swoony guys that actually made me CHANGE SHIPS. This has NEVER happened to me before. But as much as I love Jack Stellan, I’m here for Avery and her character growth and unraveling all the mysteries of this twisty tale. Okay, and Stellan. Full review coming soon!

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

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anatomy of curiousity cover.

I’ve never really read short story collections before, but I’ve been in a writing slump recently, so I wanted to check this out since it’s a book for writers and readers. And oh man, I’m so glad I did! These stories and the writing tips/insights/notes  were incredible. The stories themselves were super interesting. I was hooked on two of them and found the other interesting but it just didn’t grab me, though the author notes were still invaluable. If you’re a fan of one or more of these authors or enjoy fantasy and richly woven stories, def check this out!

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

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kill the boyband cover.

I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! I don’t even know how to talk about it and I want to review it, but you see how not knowing how to talk about this book could pose a problem. Just… just… I don’t even know. This magical book is somehow real. It has messy characters, insane situations, satire, a twisty plot, and GIRLS AND THEIR POWER AND FEELS. I’ll try to be coherent about this book some other time.

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

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.every last word cover

The poetry in this book is beautiful! I thought it was also interesting to see a different manifestation of OCD that had more to do with invasive thoughts than the more well known neurotic tendencies. Even though this book deals with a heavy subject, it was a fluffy easy read with fun characters and a cute ship.

Amazon || B&N || Goodreads

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What are the best books you’ve read recently? Have you read any of these?

 

ARC Review + Playlist + Giveaway: THE GIRL WHO FELL by S.M. Parker

Welcome to The Girl Who Fell Blog Tour!

blog tour banner - the girl who fell

the girl who fell

 

Title:The Girl Who Fell
Author: S.M. Parker
Pub Date: March 1, 2016 from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse
Amazon: Pre-order
B&N: Pre-order 
Book Depository: Preorder here!
Kobo: Preorder here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves 

In this gripping debut novel, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school.

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr Doyle is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

THE GIRL WHO FELL was one of those books that sucks you in and makes you feel everything.

The story isn’t solely within the pages, but all around you. I felt like I was in that relationship with Zephyr. I felt groggy and isolated and broken. Alec wasn’t just Zephyr’s bane but he became mine, too. I read THE GIRL WHO FELL and fell.

Okay, that last bit is dramatic. BUT, I really did feel like I was in an abusive relationship while reading. It nailed everything. It brought my back to my psych classes. It was done so well.

Don’t let that scare you because the payoff, oh the glorious payoff. It was everything I needed. It was everything Zephyr needed. It was everything girls everywhere need.

Zephyr may fall, but she rises stronger in many ways.

It’s a beautiful story to see a girl lose herself and find her way back wounded, but not a victim. Zephyr is more than her trauma. She is not defined by it.

top model feels

In some ways this book feels like a character study. Zephyr’s home, friends, and school life are all integral pieces of this book. I really appreciated seeing such a fully fleshed picture being drawn. Also, her dog automatically hated Alec and I did a fist pump!

I really loved her best friend, Lizzie. She was great and supportive and everything you want in a bestie. Zephyr’s other best friend is a guy named Gregg, who she’s been friends with for a long time, and he when he finally makes his deeper feelings known, he seriously blows it. For awhile I was kind of disappointed that Gregg had feelings for Zephyr, but I found their development done well and a counterbalance to the toxicity of Alec. Gregg is definitely not her knight in shining armor, and he doesn’t swoop in to save the day, but he and his feelings also doesn’t take away from Zephyr and her story.

Then there’s Alec. Oh man. I wanted to punch him the entire book. I wanted to grab Zephyr and tell her to run. This creep knew exactly what he was doing and how to weasel his way into every single facet of her life. He could have been Kilgrave from Jessica Jones. He wants all the control.

This story also dealt with growing up in nuanced ways. There comes a point in everyone’s life where they learn to see their parents as humans who are still making mistakes. There’s also the end of high school, the fear, and loss of safety that comes with that. This gorgeous book examined all of these.

Reading The Girl Who Fell was a painful experience, but also a beautiful one. Seeing Zephyr try to come to terms with what had happened and move forward with her friends and family at her side means so much, and I’m sure it will to readers who can identify with Zephyr more than I can. No matter what your abuser tells you, that you’re alone and unworthy of love, there will always be people who stand behind you. This isn’t just a book, but a love letter to girls everywhere. 

Cover Thoughts
hug trish jessica jones

Favorite Quotes
I fall into her arms and the deluge begins. I cry for Boston College. For the lines being blurred. For doubting Alec. For believing in Alec. For forgetting me. For believing in the new me Alec made. I hate all of me and most of me and I don’t know how to escape the skin I’m in.  

I have a lot of favorites, they’re so amazing you need to read them all when you reach them. So that’s the only one I’m going to leave here. Just a reminder this is from an ARC, so the actual line might be a little different.

Favorite Character
My sweet Lizzie! Who stood by her friend through everything and was ready to punch Alec in the face.
holland punch

Thank you Brittany for letting me be a part of this blog tour! Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for providing an e-arc. And thanks to S.M. Parker for writing such a lovely/feelsy book and being so supportive of bloggers and readers.

As a treat a playlist inspired by this book is below! 🙂 Here’s a link to listen to it on 8tracks (it even has annotations), but there’s a Youtube mix embedded here, as well.


 

Tracklist!

PART I: girl meets boy.

  1. The Great Escape by Boys Like Girls: This song has a way of just sucking you into it and it’s all about meeting someone and escaping together. It’s all encompassing, which is how Zephyr feels about Alec.
  2. Friday I’m In Love by The Cure: Another song about meeting someone and being in love and that’s all that matters.

PART II: girl loses self. 

  1. Colors by Halsey: This is where things to take a darker turn, where “love” takes over. You lose yourself. Everything is about the other person. Even though the boy in this song leaves her alone, I felt like that wasn’t the most important part of the song (since Alec by no means leaves Zephyr). For me, Colors is about losing yourself in a relationship and even if Alec never leaves her physically, he was never there for her emotionally.

PART III: girl is lost.

  1. Hypocrates by Marina and the Diamonds: This is the beginning of the awakening.
  2. Get Home by Bastille: How do you fight? Can you go back?

PART IV: girl fights.

  1. Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift covered by For King & Country: To me, this song feels like someone running away from something awful, trying to get out of the woods, searching for peace (“are we in the clear yet”).
  2. Don’t Forget Where You Belong by One Direction: Zephyr was never alone; she has people who love her standing by.
  3. Fight Song by Rachel Platten: Speaks for itself 🙂

 


 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

^^^^^^^ DO IT 😀

girl who fell graphic


ABOUT THE FABULOUS AUTHOR

shannon

Shannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at www.shannonmparker.com

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @ Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Tour Group’s Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhone wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24: Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25: Hanna @ Two Sisters Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26: Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27: Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28: Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29: Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30: Brian @ Brian’s Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31: Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview

ARC Review: OTHER BROKEN THINGS by Christa Desir

Check out what I thought about Other BRoken Things, a YA contemporary novel.

other broken things coverTitle: Other Broken Things
Author: Christa Desir
Pub Date: January 12, 2016 from Simon Pulse
Amazon: Buy it here! 
B&N: Buy it here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!

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Nat’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like get in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life and things start looking up. Joe is funny, smart, and calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she’s been desperate to forget.

Now in order to make a different kind of life, Natalie must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself.

Thanks to Edelweiss for granting me an e-arc!

I was very curious about this novel for a personal reason–my father has a drinking problem. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this story and I hadn’t really heard a lot about it until I came upon it while perusing review copies. But I was instantly hooked on the premise–again, personal connection always helps.

I read this book in one sitting. The voice was so addicting. I think it’s the kind of book you need to binge to really feel Natalie’s character arc. Plus, this is a very character driven story. There’s no flashy plot. It’s just one girl’s journey post-rehab. Natalie is doing court mandated community service and attending AA meetings as she tries to catch up with school work and get back to her life.

holland punch And Nat’s a boxer, too! 🙂

Nat’s not a perfect character. Obviously. She struggles in her recovery, in her relationship with her parents, and also in her relationship with herself. I found it so easy to relate to her, why she drank and occasionally slid backwards, and also when she was reluctant to move forward. Does that make sense? I hope it does. I think you’ll get it once you’ve read the book. But Nat is not exactly all gung-ho about AA at the start of the book. Rehab has not magically made her want to be healthy. I appreciated how Nat got to be, maybe, “unlikeable” and make bad choices or ugly choices. I loved her for it.

The relationship with Joe, the older man she meets through AA, was very well done. It was handled with such maturity. This wasn’t one of those stories that romanticizes the young girl/older man relationship. If you’re wary about the book for this reason, don’t be. I don’t think it will make you rage.

Other things (ha, get it? :D) I loved about Other Broken Things was the relationship with Nat and her mom and how that mends. It gave me all happy feels. I feel like this book might have also helped me understand my dad in new ways. There was this one quote that really spoke to me because it described him perfectly.

I think you’ll definitely gravitate to this book if you have a personal connection, and you might see a little of your experience mirrored in this book. However, OTHER BROKEN THINGS stands on its own and creates a fully drawn visceral female character. This is a book you’ll read in one sitting!

Cover Thoughts
I really love that ‘Twelve Steps’ is on top of the bottle, the cork. It gives me feels.
mind blown parks

Favorite Quote
The one I mentioned loving above, duh! Just a note this is from an ARC so it might have been changed in the final version.

“How about this one: everyone alcoholic, including you, princess, is a liar. … You are. And your attitude comes from the fact that you think everyone else is lying too. Not just the alcoholics. Everyone. And the reason you think that is because you lie all the time. That’s what alcoholics do. And once you get real with the fact that more than likely you’re the only liar in the room, you’ll save yourself a ton of grief. And you’ll start to trust people.”

Favorite Character
I really loved Nat’s mom and her insane amounts of Christmas cheer! I just feel like this somehow summarizes Nat and her mom so well…
time after time parks

ARC Review: THIS SONG IS (NOT) FOR YOU by Laura Nowlin

Check out what I thought about this YA novel about music, glitter, and love from Laura Nowlin.

this song is not for you coverTitle: This Song is (Not) For You
Author: Laura Nowlin
Release Date: January 5, 2016 from Sourcebooks Fire
Amazon: Order it here!
B&N: Or here!
Goodreads: Add it to your shelves!

Ramona fell for Sam the moment she met him. It was like she had known him forever. He’s one of the few constants in her life, and their friendship is just too important to risk for a kiss. Though she really wants to kiss him…

Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way-she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Still, they complement each other perfectly, both as best friends and as a band.

Then they meet Tom. Tom makes music too, and he’s the band’s missing piece. The three quickly become inseparable. Except Ramona’s falling in love with Tom. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

Thanks to Netgalley for an e-arc!

I was excited to read this book because I heard there was an asexual main character. Said character is Tom and the parts of this book where he questioned himself and his sexuality were so well written, they broke my heart. I felt for him and wanted to scream at anyone that ever pushed him away once he told them he was ace.

my-babies belle ouat

The other main characters were Ramona and Sam. I had a hard time telling each POV apart because the voice was relatively the same. However, that voice was addicting and made this a fast read.

I got a little restless while reading because I felt this was missing a more developed conflict and plot. My favorite part was Ramona being dead set on this music college and expecting Sam and Tom would want to go too, and they’d be together. However, Tom and Sam aren’t so sure they want to study music, have a career in music, or even go to college at all. I felt like some parts of this subplot were brushed over, which made me sad.

The love triangle is definitely not an over the top, in your face, angsty one. It’s really well done. The resolution is an interesting one, and perhaps unconventional. But you know what, their love is not for you. 😉

Also, how dare The Cure’s Just Like Heaven be considered a secret/guilty pleasure song. It is perfect.

doctor who air guitar

This Song is (Not) For You is a must read for music lovers and glitter enthusiasts that deals with first love and transitioning from high school to college. It is a good book for anyone looking to learn more about asexuality–which should be everyone and will give you feels. 

Cover Thoughts
that was awesome

Favorite Quotes [From an ARC & subject to change]

Back then, playing the piano felt like my purpose. Beavers build dams. Bees make honey. Ramona plays piano.

Ramona sighs, and I think it’s for me. Ramona sighs, and I am sinking into the floor as my soul flies up past the ceiling.

“You don’t care. About sex.” She said it like I’d said I didn’t care about curing cancer.

“They’re mean because they’re unhappy, and they’re unhappy cause they’re stuck. They’re stuck because they’re refusing to open their minds, to consider changing the way they live their lives.”

The most important thing is love. “That’s true,” Dad says, his voice quiet again. After a pause he adds. “Though for me it’s novels. Novels are the second most important thing.”

Favorite Character 
I kind of really liked Sam? He was such a romantic.
he's so pretty i want to cry friends

ARC Review: THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig

 

Check out what I thought about Heidi HEILIG’s debut YA novel, THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE.

the girl from everywhere coverTitle: The Girl From Everywhere
Author: Heidi Heilig
Pub Date: February 16, 2016 from HarperCollins Greenwillow Books
Amazon: Pre-order
B&N: Pre-order 
Goodreads: Add the pretty!

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Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.

Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.

In The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility with witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, and enchanting romance.

Thanks Brittany for loaning a poor fangirl your ARC.

THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE was one of my most anticipated reads! I first heard about it on QueryShark in June 2014. I was blown away by the concept and knew I had to have this book! Fast forward to now and I finally read it!

The writing is beautiful. It has such a great rhythm and feel to it. It’s so smart, too! So many references to mythology and all sorts of things. I was so happy when I knew one. The worlds were richly drawn with so much love I could feel it. A pet peeve of mine is when New York is written as a caricature or geographic details are off. Not only is New York brought to life here, but so is 1800s Hawaii and ancient China.

The characters! I loved Nix and Kash. They kept me reading besides the gorgeous writing. I want to cuddle them both and squish their faces together.

*insert that Barbossa JUST KISS gif* *searches in vain* *can’t find*

The supporting crew of the Temptation were also a joy. I want all their sass.

owl-fangirl-hearts-happy1

However, there’s one perfect character I’ve left out. SWAG the cutest little sea dragon EVER. Ahhh! He is the real star of this novel. (Spoiler alert: I have a mighty weakness for adorable animals doing adorable things)

girl from everywhere

And now onto the things I wasn’t so swoony over. Sadly. Regrettably. I seriously wanted to love every single second. But this section is still riddled with feels.

-The pacing kind of got away from me in some places, namely in the beginning and end. The middle, though, was pretty amazing. I was totally hooked. The scene where Nix meets Joss for the first time I was so totally in. Every word, I was like, ‘what is this magic.’ So much double meaning and symbolism!

-The semi-love triangle wasn’t my cup of tea. But it is hard to outshine Kash.

kash hot persian thief

Thanks, Heidi! 

I know that Nix wanted to experience something outside of the ship, but why couldn’t she have just made an epic bestie? Friendships are just important as romances and I felt like this was a great opportunity for that.

-I didn’t really feel the stakes throughout (like, logically I knew them cause I was told it, but I wasn’t really shown the threat throughout), nor did I particularly care for the reveal of who the villain was.

I feel like my dislikes of the novel are purely subjective and a lot of other readers will love everything about it. I would recommend it despite my issues with it because everyone deserves to meet Nix and Kash and Swag.

Gorgeous vivid writing, fantastic characters, and a sweeping new world make THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE a book not to miss!

Cover Thoughts
minions fangirling

Favorite Quotes
[Obligatory note about how these come from an ARC, so they may not be the  final version :)]

“It’s wrong.”
“It’s illegal,” he corrected. “There are a lot of things that are illegal but not wrong. And probably more that are wrong, and still legal.”

Unasked for–and unappreciated–my brain reminded me of an Arab proverb: Jealousy is nothing but a fear of being abandoned. 

Everything must come to an end. In every myth, paradise is meant to be lost.

“You expected honor among thieves?”
“It’s more common than honor among gentleman!”

“…And once everyone agrees something is one way, all the other ways it could have been disappear.”

Favorite Character
SWAG FOREVER AND EVER
i live mulan

Best Books I Read In: December (And You Should Too!)

Ah, yes, your favorite feature on YABooksGirl is back! Here are my favorite reads of December–and if you haven’t read them yet, I highly Recommend you do!

This is so hard because I read a lot of good stuff in December! I totally made up for a slow November and read a collection of 2015 debuts, 2016 ARCS, and some books pubbed before this year that I’d meaning to get to for awhile. Without further ado….!

sherlock fangirling

an ember in the ashes cover.

You must remember my Friday Reads post (it had Chewie!) back at the end of November that I was reading this. I didn’t finish it until right around finals in December because I had so many term papers to write. I reallyreally enjoyed this. I was sucked in pretty much right from the beginning and really loved both Laia and Elias’ character arcs. I also shipped them so hard, but loved how the romance did not take over the plot. This is a great fantasy with an ancient Roman feel to the world. So many fantasies advertise brutal worlds, but I actually believed this one.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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twenty boy summer cover.

I CRIED. I sobbed big fat ugly tears reading this book in one night. It was not pleasant on my emotions. I’d heard about this book years ago when it came out, but I wasn’t fond of the blurb. I am here to tell you now this is not a book where a girl kisses twenty boys in one summer. That pitch is so deceiving because it is not what happens AT ALL. This book is such a beautiful exploration of grief and friendship and brings California to life through the eyes of a dead boy and the girl mourning him. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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carry on cover.

Hello, happiness. This book is not Harry Potter fanfiction, but you can see what inspired it, including every Chosen One story ever. Fantastic characters, great voice, and spot on satire made this a favorite!

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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And now for three books that you have to put on your radar that are coming out in 2016:

sue excitement

the girl who fell.

I won’t say much about this because I’ll be posting a full review as part of The Girl Who Fell blog tour in January, but prepare yourselves for a story about an abusive relationship and a girl who has to find a way to fight back and reclaim her life and herself. Coming March 2016.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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the crown's game cover.

If you loved The Night Circus, this book is for you. And if you haven’t read The Night Circus, what the hell are you waiting for (it came out in 2011!!)? A beautiful, richly drawn fantasy set in Imperial Russia, a bromance to end all bromances, and MAGIC! May 2016.

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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blackhearts.

I won’t say anything at all because my review (and a crack!playlist) will be going up on Monday but ohmygodiamdead. This book was perfect. Perfect. February 2016!

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the best books YOU read in December? Have you read any of these?